Sheridan faces perjury trial

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The Independent Online

"They are liars," Tommy Sheridan famously said of the News of the World on the steps of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, after winning his defamation claim against the newspaper in August 2006.

Yesterday, it was confirmed the former Scottish socialist politician and Celebrity Big Brother contestant will be tried for perjury for evidence he gave against the Sunday tabloid during that case. Mr Sheridan, 44, will be prosecuted alongside his wife Gail, also 44. He had been awarded £200,000 in damages against the newspaper after it made a series of accusations against him, including that he cheated on his wife, attended swingers' clubs and took drugs.

At the trial, in which several members of Mr Sheridan's Scottish Socialist Party gave evidence against him, Judge Lord Turnbull told the jury conflicting evidence suggested some witnesses might have committed perjury. Police were instructed to investigate the claims and searched the Sheridans' Glasgow home. Mr Sheridan insisted he was the victim of a "political witch-hunt".

In December 2007 he was charged with perjury. Two months later his wife was charged. In March last year, they appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and were bailed. The next hearing will take place at the city's High Court on 26 February.

As well as the allegation of perjury, Mr Sheridan will be charged with attempting to persuade someone else to commit the same offence. His wife will face one charge of perjury.